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Coffee is Giving the World a Headache

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 2 2

Coffee beans our biggest addiction

Coffee is without doubt the world's favourite drug. According to Wikipedia it is the world's "seventh largest legal agricultural export". That word "legal" is interesting because the average Joe believes the prevalent propaganda put out that legal drugs such as alcohol and caffeine aren't drugs. If they were drugs then they would have to be deemed evil. That doesn't compute so people refuse to believe that coffee, beer and cigarettes are drugs. It's a conversative double think that would be funny if it wasn't so sad.

And sad is what coffe is doing to the world. It takes 140 liters of water to make one cup of coffee. The reason why so much water is used in coffee production is that the coffee bushes are grown in direct sunlight in the tropics. The intensity of the sun quickly evaporates any moisture in the soil. Coffee was originally grown in the shade of forest trees but the big corporations in the USA disliked this method because the coffee berries matured too slow and too much land was taken up with trees. The result? Naturally, 1000s of acres of forest in developing countries were cleared to grow coffee. The coffee needed vast amounts of water, pesticides and fertilizer. The soil degraded. The water was polluted. The rain generating forests were lost. The land that could be used for growing a variety of foods was taken over for coffee cultivation. And the people became slave farmers for the sake of corporate profits. It is like bananas. What the first world likes the third world pays for in lives ruined and environment ruined.

So if you want to allievate the headache caused by coffee then stop drinking it. If you need that first cup of caffeine in the morning to get you going then there are three ways to minimize the evil you are contributing to. First, buy shade grown coffee. Second, buy organic coffee. And third buy coffee that is traded under a Fair Trade program. If you do these three things then you at least put more money into the farmers' pockets and you stop deforestation and you stop poisoning the land with pesticides.



Mar 8, 2010 7:42am
Great article. I agree that one should only by coffee that is traded under a Fair Trade program; by doing this even the smaller 'coffee farmers' get a fair profit and life.
Jul 12, 2010 6:45pm
Great article! I love coffee, but tea makes me feel better. Maybe I'd feel better if I purchased shade grown coffee, thanks.
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